LOWELL, MASS. (WHDH) - One firefighter received medical treatment and 36 people are displaced after a three-alarm blaze broke out at an apartment building in Lowell Saturday morning.
Lowell firefighters responding to a six-unit apartment building on Cross Street around 7:30 a.m. found heavy fire and smoke coming from the second and third floor, resulting in a second and third alarm being called.
The flames have been extinguished and crews are now working to put out the hotspots.
Officials say the fire appears to have started in the back of the building.
“We are now pulling all of the ceilings, overhauling, and looking for hotspots,” Fire Chief Jeffrey Windward said.
With temperatures rising, Trinity MS and Lowell General Paramedics are on scene assisting the firefighters with rehab.
“One good thing we have is a shift change, we have a three-alarm so we have a lot of firefighters on scene so we are able to rotate crews out because of the hot weather,” Windward said. “We are worried about people getting dehydrated and having medical issues.”
Dozens of residents, including many children, all escaped safely.
Jamie Vazquez says he went out for coffee and as he was driving by he jumped out and started knocking on doors when he saw the smoke coming out of the building.
“I was driving by and I saw the smoke, I pulled in and an officer coming out of his car running toward the building and I jumped out,” Vazquez said. “We started banging on the doors, we made it to the third floor and as soon as I made it to the third floor the guy opened the door and a cloud of smoke just came, so we helped everyone get out of the building.”
John Rubonesha and Noorullah Sidbershah who live in the apartment building reflect on the experience they had this morning.
“Our neighbors came down and they are yelling and they said there’s a fire in my apartment,” Rubonesha said.
People inside say they ran out with just the clothes they were wearing at the time.
“And then I saw fire in my door and in the door for my neighbor and then I go, I tell my children,” Sidbershah said.
Another man says he had to get his eight children out from the third floor and they were able able to get out okay.
The Red Cross is helping those affected by the fire at a nearby church.
One firefighter was injured when a ladder fell on his head leaving him with a cut, he is expected to be OK.
Windward says how important working smoke alarms are since everyone was able to get out of the building safely.
No additional information has been released.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
This is a developing news story; stay with 7News on-air and online for the latest developments.
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